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Lord Elgin and the Marbles$
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William St. Clair

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780192880536

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192880536.001.0001

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‘The Last Poor Plunder from a Bleeding Land’

‘The Last Poor Plunder from a Bleeding Land’

(p.98) 10 ‘The Last Poor Plunder from a Bleeding Land’
Lord Elgin and the Marbles

William St. Clair

Oxford University Press

A rich harvest resulted from the first excavations on the Acropolis, since under Parthenon's west end, sizeable figures of the west pediment were found by the diggers which were likely to have been thrown to the ground and broken because of the 1687 explosion. As such, excavations were then initiated on the southern part of the Parthenon where some fragments of the south frieze and also from the early pediments were recovered. The key to possibly understanding the frieze monument was the central slab found built into the Acropolis' southern wall which exhibits the handing over of the cloth. These frieze sculptures were carved directly out of marble blocks using special saws which could have been acquired from Constantinople. This chapter analyzes how other firmans enabled other purposes for the issuing of the Elgin marbles aside from selling fragments.

Keywords:   Acropolis, artists, frieze monuments, pediment, Constantinople, firmans, Elgin marbles

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